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Outdoor Number Hunt Activity

This easy outdoor activity is perfect for preschool children, it will help with number recognition and counting skills just in time for school readiness. With only a few items and a wonderful outdoor environment, the children can learn about mathematics in a more engaging way. Better suited for older children, in the sunshine!

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

· A garden with paving and lots of natural resources available, e.g. leaves, stones, sticks, etc

· Chalk

· A bucket

Photographer: Nathan Dumlao | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: Nathan Dumlao | Source: Unsplash

Preparing the activity:

1. Using the chalk, draw 10 fairly large circles on the pavement in the garden and write numbers 1-10 in each one.

2. Gather a group of no more than 10 children and go outside.

Photographer: Zachary Kadolph | Source: Unsplash

Doing the activity:

Sit the children in a circle and demonstrate the aim of the game. Point out a circled number (let us say 4 in this instance), then search the garden for 4 natural items. These could be sticks, leaves, stones or a flower such as daisies, place them in the bucket, then put them in their corresponding circle.

Going round the circle, allow the children to establish their chosen number then search their surroundings for any items they can find. This will allow them to not only identify numerals, but also count as they collect the items.

If the children need a bit of support then adult help is recommended, or pairing children up to help each other. Once they have retrieved their items, encourage them to count them again as they put them into the circle so they can check if they have the right amount.

Using the one at a time, turn-taking, approach not only exercises their patience, but allows them to channel their focus and attention skills.

Photographer: Vanessa Bucceri | Source: Unsplash

Tracking the activity:

30-50 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour- Begins to accept the needs of others and can take turns and share resources, sometimes with support from others.

Mathematics: Numbers- Sometimes matches numeral and quantity correctly.

Mathematics: Numbers- Shows an interest in representing numbers.

Understanding the world: The world- Can talk about some of the things they have observed such as plants, animals, natural and found objects.

40-60 months

Communication and Language: Listening and attention-Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly during appropriate activity.

Communication and Language: Understanding- Responds to instructions involving a two-part sequence.

Mathematics: Numbers- Recognises numerals 1 to 5.

Mathematics: Numbers- Counts objects to 10 and beginning to count beyond 10.

Mathematics: Numbers- Selects the correct numeral to represent 1 to 5, then 1 to 10 objects